Oh, my aching head. Via Drudge:
UN climate change panel based claims on student dissertation and magazine article
The United Nations’ expert panel on climate change based claims about ice disappearing from the world’s mountain tops on a student’s dissertation and an article in a mountaineering magazine.
Well, maybe there was still actual science going on…
…one of the sources quoted was a feature article published in a popular magazine for climbers which was based on anecdotal evidence from mountaineers about the changes they were witnessing on the mountainsides around them.
The other was a dissertation written by a geography student, studying for the equivalent of a master’s degree, at the University of Berne in Switzerland that quoted interviews with mountain guides in the Alps.
PS: Here’s a little secret about scientific consensus, folks: it assumes – it has to assume – that trusted users are not lying. Nobody can check everything, all the time, so eventually you have to rely on people not abusing the fact that they’re going to have their word taken on their results.
It generally works, too. You have to remember that. Most scientists play be the rules, which is why we continue to see scientific and technological advances. But when they don’t play by the rules, you get scandals like this.